Date : 10-08-2010

Question :

What is the ruling on the convention (CEDAW) which is meant to eliminate all kinds of discrimination against woman?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

 The articles of the convention hold very late concepts or rights in comparison to the ones revealed and stated ages ago by the Islamic Sharia, some of which contradict it plainly, because the ones came up with those articles as a reflection/a result of the terrible situations woman faces in countries that do not abide by Islamic Sharia. Thus, they exaggerated as regards the rights of the two genders to the extent that recalling the actual differences between the two become out of reach.

  People acquainted  with Islamic Sharia are aware that it treated women on the same standard as men whereas their assets, dignity, and blood are preserved in accordance to rulings of Sharia, in terms of equality, the same applies on rights of possession and managing assets which is among the articles the above convention is calling for. It is worth noting that Islam is ahead whether in this matter or other uncountable matters in an era where other religions and philosophies consider woman an abomination that the elite of men don't mix with. On the contrary, Allah, The Most Exalted, Said (What means): "For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward." [Al-Ahzab/35]. In addition, He, The Exalted Said (What means): "And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another." [Al-Imran/195].

  Besides, woman has an advantage over man regarding kindness, mercy, patience and deep sympathy by which if spouses were separated- whereas this shouldn't occur save by death- child custody will be woman's if marital separation took place regardless of its type and whether she was a mother or grandmother.

  At the beginning of a marital life, a husband is obliged to offer his wife a dowry as a sign of honoring her as well for the great responsibility that she holds on her shoulders during marital life, which is a heap of gold, in addition to the fact that dowry isn't presented as many ignorant believe as a price of having this woman! Rather, it is given and taken in terms of honoring her, the evidence on this that if the wife passed away upon writing the dowry (at the time of concluding marriage contract) and before the first sexual intercourse, in this case, dowry becomes part of her inheritance that she might pass to her heirs and the same applies if the husband was the one who died as the eligibility of having the dowry is hers in both of the latter cases!


  Further, at the moment whereas honoring both parents is incumbent upon sons, the mother takes precedence as regarding the one who is entitled to get more dutifulness than the other, since the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means): "Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?" He (PBUH) said: "Your mother". He again asked, ''Who next?" "Your mother", the Prophet (PBUH) replied again. He asked, "Who next?" He (the Prophet (PBUH)) said again, "Your mother." He again asked, "Then who?" Thereupon he (PBUH) said," Then your father." [Agreed upon].

  Furthermore, many rulings of Sharia are in favor of woman not for the reason of being compassionate with her; rather, due to the fact that Allah, The Exalted Favored her in an aspect of her nature as He, The Exalted Favored a man in another one in a manner that suits both genders, and this is observed in the following verse whereas Allah, The Most Exalted, Said (What means):" And in no wise covet those things in which God Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: But ask God of His bounty. For God hath full knowledge of all things." [An-Nissa'/32]; thus, Allah distinguished both in terms of their gender suits the difference of their physical and mental characteristics.

  As for the matter where the man has the upper hand, because he is physically stronger, rougher and has more experience and patience than her; therefore, establishing a marital house and protecting family from poverty is his own obligation only and was honored by it, since the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means): "This sin is enough for a man that he withholds the subsistence from one whose master he is. [Related by Moslim] also, he (PBUH) said (What means): "And (know that) whatever you spend in Allah's Cause, you will get reward for it, even for the morsel of food which you put in your wife's mouth.' [Agreed upon]. I.e. The husband will be rewarded by Allah for the food he provides for his family.

  Moreover, man is obliged to protect his religion, homeland, property and his family, since the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means): "He who is killed in defense of his religion is a martyr, he who is killed in self-defense is a martyr, he who is killed in defense of his property is a martyr, and he who is killed in defense of his family is a martyr.” [Related by At-Tirmithi]. Woman aren't accountable for the above duties because to raise a child who will protect and die for the cause of Allah without a delay, is more than enough for her.

  We (Iftaa' Dept.) are of the view that many parents force their children -males in particular- to marry to a certain woman through many ways and for different purposes. In addition, this act shouldn't be attributed to Sharia; rather, this defect should be ascribed to the individual who miscomprehend Sharia itself through this act.

  As regards woman's marriage, the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means):" A woman without a husband* must not be married till she is consulted, and a virgin must not be married till her permission is asked.” [Agreed upon]; accordingly, coercion isn't mentioned at all, rather her guardian is obliged to observe consultation and marriage takes place only by her consent. In terms of their characteristics (men and women), some men are trickery while women are kindhearted; thus, she might be deceived easily by the former as a result; thusly, she is obliged to consult her father or guardian who is expected to be wise and merciful in this situation regarding the one is proposing to her, because if marriage was concluded and then failed, she will return with her kids to her father's house and in this case, he is obliged to spend on her whereas the fruits of this bad marriage are the poor kids. That's why; the Prophet (PBUH), said (What means):" Whichever woman married without the permission of her Wali her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid." [Related by At-Tirmithi]. Besides, whosoever knows the customs observed by societies is aware of the consequences regarding coercing a woman to marry a man without her consent and the same consequences occurs when she marries a man without having the consent of her family. 

  This matter is very remarkable within our Islamic society; for instance, the Hanafiee's doctrine is of the view that the consent of the guardian isn't stipulated if she decided to marry a man, and this view takes effect in the civil status law of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. However, in terms of reality and logic, a woman that enjoys self-respect won't get married without having the consent of her guardian because even non-Muslim women avoid doing this act, but if the guardian abstain from giving his approval regarding her marriage with no logical reason, Sharia's Judge is obliged to interfere and in this case he becomes her the legal guardian.

  From this point, we are of the view that the approval of what the above convention holds contradict the Islamic Sharia, whereas from the latter our genuine customs are derived from; accordingly, the legislator is obliged to abide by this since the religion of the country stated by the constitution is Islam. As well as, we look for an Islamic stand in line with our brothers in Supreme Judge Dept. and the House of Representatives in case a change within the articles of constitution took place in light of this convention.

  Furthermore, many points in this convention must be deliberated, everyone is emotional at the time whereas a family's breakdown happened while this controversial convention intends to scatter a family with no need for a divorce to do that when in fact many interesting questions arisen in this regard, such as: "what is understood from wife's right to choose a place of residence other than her husband's?! In addition, what is left of family's characteristics (mercy and harmony) when each of the spouses choose their place of residence solely, likewise woman's travel without the permission of the husband or the father?

  Therefore, what is children choice regarding with which party they will stay, though they love both of their parents, their grandfathers and grandmothers; dramatically, family separation is anticipated to shed its light on the whole family, in particular the poor children.

  I would like to quote the saying of Ahl Al-Sham:" O Allah, make common sense and religion steadfast"!! Because this convention ignores fundamentals of common sense and religion.

  As for the name of the wife, Islam honored woman by allowing her to be attributed to her family before and after marriage; in a view of the previous statement, I would like to attest a name of a woman which is a world renown with the name (Ma); at the time at which her husband passed away, she became married to another man and her name was changed once again after the name of her new husband's family. This example belittle any woman as though she was a good used to be owned and named after a man and later on she became someone else good. What was that in comparison to how Islam honored woman due to the fact that she is attributed to the name of her family and clan for good. Consequently, blind imitation might be a sign of approval on this abusive convention whereas some women believe that they are being honored in light of the latter articles!!.


  I say this loud and clear: there is no system respect woman better than Islam, for this is Allah's, The Exalted Sharia in which human being has honored the two genders (Males and females), cause it is the Sharia of The One who Created males and females and Destined for each his own complementary role within society for the reason that this life won't prosper with men or women alone.

  Some regimes abuse woman and take advantage of her with the worst images ever, as they use her beauty and kindhearted to merchandize their goods .i.e. the merchandising ads of a good feminine shoe are presented by a model as well as the ads of airlines companies are presented by another unveiled woman.

  Islam mostly expressed by the one who really comprehend it not otherwise; for instance, when some acts of Muslims abuse woman, those acts reflect their own culture not Islam's; rather, it is similar to the pre-Islamic era considering that people used to bury woman at that time.

  Therefore, suppressing woman contradicts Islam and the same applies on coercing her to be on an equal footing with man. 

  In conclusion, we won't be worry about Islamic Sharia since its' Protector is Divine, Allah, The Exalted, whereas He Said (What means): "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). [Al-Hijir/9]. Moreover, Muslims will do their best to protect Sharia, because among other nations knows that lawful matters are what been made by Allah, not the ones that became lawful by old and modern ignorant customs; besides, the articles stated in this convention  will remain prohibited according to Sharia and won't be otherwise throughout international treaties. The same applies on lawful matters which won't be unlawful by conventions that exploited the weariness of Islamic nation. And Allah, The Exalted Knows Best.